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Vows and Commitments in South Africa - Shiny black pearls

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Shiny black pearls
Mini Ngcobo, a Tzu Chi commissioner in Umlazi T, a township near Durban, cooks a pot of food for 25 AIDS orphans. Nearby is a kitchen garden she cultivates with Tholokele Mkhize, also a Tzu Chi volunteer. This garden, the produce of which is cooked to feed AIDS orphans or distributed to help the needy, is a miracle of love created by Tzu Chi volunteers in South Africa.

Umlazi T is an area infamous for rampant violence, robbery, and burglary, yet the vegetable garden remains unvandalized. Tholokele explains how this is possible: “Everyone in the community is a Tzu Chi security guard! The good deeds done by Tzu Chi volunteers have won so much approval from the community that everyone works together to protect the vegetable garden.”

Most of the native volunteers that have joined Tzu Chi in the past decade have never been to its headquarters in Taiwan. Still, sustained by a strong sense of commitment, they staunchly march forward on the path of helping the needy. Despite being in difficult circumstances themselves, they radiate light and warmth through their benevolent and altruistic actions. Indeed they shine as brightly as black pearls.

Text by Yuan Ya-qi
Translated by Lin Sen-shou